July 17 – In my first years living in Quimper, I ran a shop in centre ville: the Boutique Le Minor. It's a third-generation family business based in Pont L'Abbé that today features its own printed and embroidered table linens with Breton motifs, as well as embroidered costumes and banners. Grandmother Le Minor, the founder of the business (and a good friend of Mathurin Méheut), was also very involved in the development of clothing inspired by and for fishermen, including the felted duffle coats called kabigs, the heavy wool fisherman's sweaters, and the striped fisherman's jerseys. The clothing end of the business was sold around 1980 (a moment of crisis generally for the clothing industry in France), but the label is still Le Minor, and the boutique in Pont L'Abbé still sells it.
When I first started at the boutique, the fisherman's jerseys were generally navy blue and white or cream, with occasionally dark red for a change of pace. Then colors like dark green, yellow, lighter blue, even pink, striped with white or cream became popular. Today, the jerseys look like color explosions!
When I was in Pont L'Abbé for the parade last Sunday, of course I had to pay a visit to the Boutique Le Minor. It is always fun to see what's new! (Le Minor has the same challenges that businesses like HB-Henriot face – their name is associated with a certain tradition, and they need to maintain that tradition while they keep up with the times, not an easy task!)
Well, first I found myself in front of this window (my apologies for the reflections in the photo). On the bottom row are the traditional jerseys, but what's above them is purely contemporary – look at all those colors!
Then I saw the new Le Minor sign, appliquéd with swatches of striped jersey fabrics ...
When I went inside, at the window overlooking the river, there were these curtains in natural linen with more appliqués of striped patches.
And finally, there were these two jerseys, in a custom-made patchwork of different jersey colors. The price tag on the adult size was 175 euros (it wouldn't fit me anyway)!
I love a mix of colors, and so I was delighted to hear from Gildas Le Minor, the current patron and my former boss, that there is a printed tablecloth fabric on the way that is the printed version of the curtains ... I can see what will be showing up on my table one of these days!